Les Schwab Invitational Brings Nation's Top NCAA Prospects On Display

Basketball’s future takes center stage at the 2018 Les Schwab Invitational — with a nod to the game’s past. 

Premier high school basketball teams from Oregon, California, Florida and Washington converge on Hillsboro, Oregon — tipping off Dec. 26 on FloHoops.com — with a bevy of elite college recruits in tow. Headlining the 16-team field is Sierra Canyon, ranked No. 7 in the USA Today national poll. 

The Trailblazers arrive from the Los Angeles area boasting a roster rife with power conference-prospects, among them guard Scottie Pippen Jr. and forward Kenyon Martin Jr. The names are familiar, both of their dads starring in the NBA a generation ago, but make no mistake: the Sierra Canyon duo are making their own way on the hardwood. 

Watch the Les Schwab Invitational LIVE on FloHoops!

Whereas Scottie Pippen Sr. was the consummate swingman, 6-foot-1 Pippen Jr. runs the show at point guard. Martin Jr. plays a style more closely reminiscent to that of his father, who gained fame as a hard-dunking, rebound magnet at the University of Cincinnati, and with the New Jersey Nets and Denver Nuggets. 

Recruiters from Martin Sr.’s alma mater will be paying attention to the four-day Les Schwab Invitational; Martin Jr. is a 2019 Cincinnati target. Former NBA stars-turned-college coaches Penny Hardaway (Memphis) and Patrick Ewing (Georgetown) will also have interest in Sierra Canyon’s showing at the Invitational. 

While basketball’s future takes cues from the past at Sierra Canyon, the Trailblazers have more to watch at the Les Schwab Invitational. Shooting guard Cassius Stanley is the No. 26-ranked prospect in the nation for the class of 2019 per ESPN.com, with a laundry list of suitors recruiting him. 

Sierra Canyon’s big three headlines one side of the bracket, tipping off Wednesday against Churchill High School from Eugene. On the other side of the bracket, the University High (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) big two of 2019 Duke Blue Devils commit Vernon Carey Jr. and 2020 five-star prospect Scottie Barnes commands the spotlight. 

Carey is another Les Schwab Invitational standout with a professional pedigree, albeit from the gridiron. His father, Vernon Carey Sr., played offensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins from 2004 through 2011. 

Carey Jr. isn’t blocking pass-rushers off the edge; he does his blocking on the defensive end. The 6-foot-10 Carey Jr. is a force in the paint, and the nation’s No. 3-ranked prospect in the 2019 class per ESPN. 

Teammate Barnes, meanwhile, checks in at No. 2 among 2020 recruits. The 6-foot-8 forward boasts an all-around game with offensive moves in the paint and on the perimeter. Carey and Barnes are the highest-rated individual prospects at the Les Schwab Invitational -- and it’s no coincidence University High has the tournament’s highest USA Today national ranking at No. 4. The Sharks open the Invitational Wednesday against Tigard High School. 

Rounding out the Top 100 recruits headlining the Les Schwab Invitational, Gonzaga Prep’s Anton Watson is a 6-foot-9 star ranked No. 55 by ESPN. He has committed to remain in Spokane with Mark Few’s Zags. 

Along with the high-profile teams from out-of-state competing in Hillsboro, the Les Schwab Invitational brings together some of Oregon’s very best teams. Among them is Portland’s Grant High School, which could face University on Thursday with a win over Central Catholic (Portland) on Wednesday. 

Grant point guard Aaron Deloney is the state’s No. 2-ranked 2019 recruit, per 247Sports.com, and a commit to perennial mid-major contender, Vermont. 

On the other side of the bracket, Jefferson High School faces South Salem on Wednesday. 

Jefferson features Washington Huskies signee Marcus Tsohonis, a 6-foot-3 point guard and the No. 1-ranked recruit in Oregon for 2019. Tsohonis’ repertoire includes an ability to get to and finish at the rim, and uncanny court vision. 

Said Washington coach Mike Hopkins in a release following the guard’s signing last month, Tsohonis, “is one of the best passers that we've seen. He will be able to help us take our program to the next level with his leadership.”


Game 1 

Lake Oswego (Oregon) vs. Southridge (Beaverton, Oregon) 

Winner/Loser plays Game 8 participants 

Game 2 

Grant (Portland, Oregon vs. Central Catholic (Portland, Oregon) 

Winner/Loser plays Game 7 participants 

Game 3

West Linn (Oregon) vs. Skyview (Portland, Oregon) 

Winner/Loser plays Game 5 participants 

Game 4 

Barlow (Greshman, Oregon) vs. Jesuit (Beaverton, Oregon) 

Winner/Loser plays Game 6 participants 

Game 5 

Jefferson (Portland, Oregon) vs. South Salem (Oregon)

Winner/Loser plays Game 3 participants 

Game 6 

Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, California) vs. Churchill (Eugene, Oregon) 

Winner/Loser plays Game 4 participants 

Game 7 

University (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) vs. Tigard (Oregon) 

Winner/Loser plays Game 2 participants 

Game 8 

Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, Washington) vs. Columbia Christian (Portland, Oregon) 

Winner/Loser plays Game 1 participants

Kyle Kensing is a freelance sports journalist in southern California. Follow him on Twitter @kensing45.

5 Burning Questions Heading Into Star-Studded Spalding Hoophall Classic

The Hoophall Classic runs Jan. 17-21 in Springfield, Massachusetts, and FloHoops.com will have coverage of many of the games.

De'Aaron Fox's Unprecedented Improvement In Year Two

With a 23-21 record and just one game out of the playoff race, the Sacramento Kings have been one of the biggest surprises of this NBA season so far. While the addition of No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley and free-agent signings Yogi Ferrell and Nemanja Bjelica have certainly improved the Kings’ depth and allowed them to play with a bit more pace and space, no change has been more significant, or exciting, than the unleashing of De’Aaron Fox.

FloHoops Adds Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Multi-Year Deal

AUSTIN, Texas — January 17, 2019 — Today, FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, announced a multiyear partnership with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) to provide exclusive live and on-demand coverage of nearly 50 events on FloHoops.com, FloTrack.com, FloSoftball.com, and FloLive.tv.

Ahead of Hoophall Classic, Terrence Clarke Talks Kentucky, UConn, Syracuse

At 6-foot-6 and 180 pounds, Terrence Clarke already looks like a prototypical NBA wing, but he's still only a sophomore in high school.

NBA Draft Prospect Goga Bitadze Shines In first EuroLeague Action

In his first four games, 19-year-old Georgian center Goga Bitadze has taken EuroLeague by storm.

The Legend Of LaMelo Ball: How The SPIRE Institute Star Ascended

He has generated the buzz of an NBA All-Star, logged more airline miles than a Globetrotter and inspired more highlight clips and GIFs than any TV series. 

FloHoops Partners With SPIRE Institute Boys Basketball Starring LaMelo Ball

Deal provides FloHoops.com with streaming rights to select SPIRE Institute games this season.

NJ Champ Roselle Catholic To Face NY Champ Archbishop Stepinac This Weekend

In an ideal world, White Plains (N.Y.) Archbishop Stepinac would be at full strength for Sunday's showdown with Roselle (N.J.) Catholic, which is ranked No. 11 nationally by USA Today.

The Euro Step: Milutinov Is A Monster & Other EuroLeague Round 16 Notes

If Nikola Milutinov’s New Year’s resolution is to destroy everything in his path, he’s off to a great start.

Isaiah Stewart Considering Duke, Kentucky, & 3 Others, Will Decide 'Soon'

Isaiah Stewart is one of the most sought-after uncommitted recruits in the Class of 2019, and he has everyone from fans to college coaches guessing on where he'll be playing college basketball next season.